Bryant's pop returns in first multi-HR game

Bryant's pop returns in first multi-HR game

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant hit his first home run of the night off a curveball from Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, driving the pitch out to right field. 

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But it was the second home run in the Cubs' 4-2 win, the one on an elevated fastball from Adam Liberatore, that had Cubs manager Joe Maddon the most excited. 

"More than the curveball, I like that he got to that fastball," Maddon said. "That tells me that the [opposite field] homer [off Kershaw] really got his confidence going. I really took that as a really good sign.

"I just have so much faith in him. When a guy goes through a drop like that, it just takes one night."

Bryant provided three RBIs in his first career multi-home run game. His first homer, a two-run shot in the third inning, was his first base hit after going 15 at-bats without one.

His last blast, in the eighth inning, brought the crowd to its feet, where they clamored for a curtain call. The 23-year old rookie obliged at the prodding of teammate Anthony Rizzo.

"It's another notch in the belt, I guess," Bryant said after his night. "It's cool to do that. Those are always good games you'll remember forever."

Bryant's was the first home run off a curveball from Kershaw this season, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

In his past 27 at-bats before Monday's game, Bryant had mustered five hits and four RBIs -- all of which came on a grand slam -- and saw his average drop from .294 to .277.

But it wasn't indicative of his season. Bryant now carries a .384 on-base percentage and .485 slugging percentage, which rank ninth and 13th, respectively, in the National League.

"It's a game of peaks and valleys, and I was in a valley," Bryant said. "I went into the game telling myself I was due for a big game, and I got it.

"It's so easy to look down on yourself, but those are the types of runs that make you the type of player you're going to be."

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.